Apr 27, 2017 / by womenseconomy

Team’s Background

  • Sally Arkley, Director for the UK

Sally began her career as a Junior Research Fellow at the Centre for Postgraduate Hebrew Studies, Oxford. Following this she started and grew a publishing house for a national professional association, specialising in health and social care.

Sally has been a leading figure in the economic development of women and girls for nearly 20 years. She led the Women’s Business Development Agency (WBDA) in the UK from 2001 until 2015, turning it from a small local organisation into an internationally respected leader for innovation in the sector. She now leads its successor, Women’s Economy (UK), and is a founding director of Women’s Economy Europe.

Sally has designed and developed award-winning business support, personal growth and employability programmes for women, from the most disadvantaged to entrepreneurs running multi-million concerns. Under the brand ‘Imagining Growth’ many of these have been transferred to four European countries. She was the co-founder of Birmingham Business School’s Centre for Women’s Enterprise and Leadership and also co-founded the first UK-government sponsored Regional Women’s Enterprise Unit. Sally is an expert in leadership education for girls and women and is particularly committed to supporting those who are economically disadvantaged. Amongst her current projects she is developing plans for a food and farm incubator both to support the food and drink industry in Warwickshire, England, and to help women and ethnic minority entrepreneurs to exploit their diverse heritage.

Sally was presented with the Queen’s award for Enterprise Promotion in 2008. In 2010 she was made an MBE by the Queen for services to women’s enterprise.

Sally works with other associates of Women’s Economy Europe to deliver our services in UK.


  • Nicoletta Bertolone Jones, Director for Italy

 As a former official of the Italian Foreign Office, Nicoletta is fluent in both Italian and English. She is an experienced educator in both Italy and the United Kingdom.

In the UK she led a scheme to embed Italian into over 50 British schools, benefitting more than 3000 pupils in schools where there were a significant number of children of Italian parentage. She went on to pioneer a scheme for regular in-service training courses for the Italian teachers with experts from the University of Bologna. She was promoted to Direttrice Didattica for The West Midlands and Wales, a post she held until the end of her mandate. Nicoletta then worked in the private sector, as a manager in her husband’s design and direct marketing agency acquiring valuable hands-on experience running an international SME.

In 2005 she was invited to join Women’s Business Development Agency (WBDA), the longest-standing specialist women’s business support agency in the UK, where she was Director of Schools Education. She led a number of innovative programmes including the development of a much-praised computer game to raise enterprise awareness, particularly in young women, gifted in science. It was funded by the UK National Endowment for Science and the Arts and was designed in consultation with schoolgirls.

After relocating to Italy, Nicoletta founded NBJ Associates in October 2009, becoming a partner in the innovative European ‘Imagining Growth’ project, which supported women both into business start-up and successful growth.

She now specialises in leadership education in Italy as founder member of Women@Work Italia, which supports women entrepreneurs, both in their personal and professional life, through training and mentoring. The Association has taken part, with great success, in EXPO 2015 in Milan. From an initial group of 13 it now has over 50 fully active members and is well-respected throughout the Piedmont region in Italy.

Nicoletta works with other associates of Women’s Economy Europe to deliver our services in Italy.


  • Stella Mally, Director for Spain

Stella is qualified lawyer with a Masters degree in International Relations from the Barcelona Institute for International Studies. In the last seven years she has developed and managed numerous international projects relating to women and girls. As a project manager for AFAEMME (Association of Organisations of Mediterranean Businesswomen) she led the Spanish contribution to the innovative European ‘Imagining Growth’ project, which supported women both into business start-up and successful growth.

Stella is fluent in Spanish, Catalan, English, German and Italian. And has presented widely on gender issues in all these languages, including speaking on ‘How to motivate female university students for Entrepreneurship’ (Cairo International Women Empowerment, Entrepreneurs & SMEs Summit, Cairo, 2016) and ‘How can Business Support Organisations motivate and retain young women entrepreneurs’ (EuroMed Invest Academy, Barcelona, 2015). Her most recent publication is ‘Tunisia, still a crucial moment for women to define their futures’ (SwitchMed, 2017).

In addition to being a founder director of Women’s Economy Europe, Stella is a co-founder of ‘Share and Grow’ a social impact project consultancy in Barcelona. She also runs her own consultancy business. Her current commitments include project evaluator for the UK Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust for the European funded ‘Inclusive Enterprise Programme’ and research and development consultant for the first UK food and farming inclusive enterprise support project. She also acts as corporate lawyer for FEMMEFLEUR SCP.

Stella is an experienced mentor of young women. She is especially interested in their leadership and personal and professional growth.

Stella works with other associates of Women’s Economy Europe to deliver our services in Spain.